Let's face it - flossing is a little tricky. Are you doing it properly? Are you doing it often enough? Are you using the correct flossing instrument? Are you getting sick of your dental hygienist lecturing you at every dental appointment about flossing? The question of the day is do you really know how to floss? I personally always love when I get my teeth cleaned and the hygienist finishes off my cleaning with a good thorough flossing. They are able to get in to all the areas that it seems like I cannot. How am I supposed to fit my hands ALL the way back there??!? I wanted to simply the technique for you at home - so it doesn't seem so daunting.
Step 1: Grab some floss, the ADA recommends about 18 inches. Really just grab enough to be able to use some clean floss after each tooth.
Step 2: Get the floss between the teeth and all the way up to the gum line gently and "wrap" your tooth with the floss. Use an up and down and back and forth (or zig-zag) motion to get all those surfaces.
Step 3: Once all your teeth are squeaky clean, rinse your mouth very well - you did just clean out a lot of bacteria from under your gums.
Easy enough, right? If you are a type of person that struggles with standard floss, there are lots of other options out there to help you achieve your flossing goals and make your hygienist beam with pride at your next cleaning. I she has even offered you a handheld flosser at one of your appointments. Take her up on it next time. The technique with these is similar but it gives you the luxury of not having to struggle getting around those back teeth and hard to reach places. All the major dental companies have created water flossers or air flossers as well. The water and air flossers are easy to use, gentle and incredibly effective. Have a lot of bridge or crown work, maybe even braces? We have floss for that too! Special floss to get around those wires to keep your gums healthy! Remember, flossing is the most effective way to keep plaque out of your gum tissue and off of your teeth in between your dental cleanings. Research your options and start flossing - this way if someone should ask do you really know how to floss? You can say, YES and I have the gums to prove it!